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Building a Room Addition: 5 Questions to Ask Before Adding a Room to Your Home

Room additions can be one of the biggest, and most rewarding, projects you’ll ever tackle on your home. Sometimes that extra room is all it takes for your current house to become your absolute dream home. When done right, additions can also add significant value to your home.

If you think you want to add a new master suite, expand your living room or finally add that mudroom and powder room you’ve been dreaming of, where do you start? Since building a room addition is a big project, it will have a longer process, more steps and more questions to ask before you even get started.

Questions to Ask Before Adding a Room to Your Home

Questions to Consider Before Adding Onto Your Home

Here are five questions we recommend asking before adding a room to your house.

How big should my room addition be?

Some of the first questions you should ask about your new room addition are about size. Build too small and you could find the process not worth the effort. Build too big for your house or neighborhood and you might not get an adequate return on your investment.

When determining the size of your addition think through the new space’s overall function. If you’re building a new master suite, you will want something that can at least comfortably fit a large bed and two to three pieces of bedroom furniture, plus a walk-in closet and a full bath. A smaller addition, like a sunroom or mudroom and powder room, can take up much less square footage.

A reputable home remodeling company can help you determine the size you need while factoring in all labor, material and permitting costs. Remember to take your time when considering the question of size, since nearly every other part of your project will be determined by this decision.

Should I build up or out?

Sometimes considering where to build your new room addition will go hand in hand with the question of the size of your addition. Adding a new level to an existing floor can be a great solution for additional bedrooms, but will include concerns about structure and support. Plus, some neighborhoods may have restrictions on the height of your home.

Building a new addition “out” is very common. It is important, however, to make sure the property has room for how far you’d like to build out. Some zoning and neighborhood restrictions could impact the size of your addition depending on your lot’s setbacks and easements.  It’s also important to determine if building out is the right answer structurally for your property. A new foundation will be dug and poured, and this step can be tricky on properties with septic systems or difficult soils.

Hiring a professional to help you answer this question can be a huge help. If they have experience working on properties in your city or town, they’ll understand zoning, land and structural support concerns. They’ll also help you determine which type of build is the right aesthetic choice for your home’s style.

How much should I plan to spend on my room addition?

This is an important question to ask when adding a room to your home. The cost of a room addition can vary greatly depending on the size and function of the room. Even the time of year and weather can have an impact on the cost of an addition.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report is a great tool to use for setting budget expectations for your room addition.  This report is compiled from the averages on permits that are pulled in Central Ohio and are meant to give you an idea of what homeowners are investing in your area.

Most cities also require a licensed contractor to pull permits and stamped drawings from an architect or engineer.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend hiring a reputable contractor or design/build firm for your home addition.

What can I expect from the building process?

The building process will vary depending on the size and function of your room. It can also vary depending on the time of year you decide to build or the part of the country you live in.

Permits, approvals and inspections can also expand building times. Many cities require zoning approvals and variances for home additions. Your contractor will need to take the proper paperwork to variance meetings and explain your plan to the board.

There are some general guidelines to expect from the process. Here are the high-level things that will take place throughout your build in the typical order of operations:

  • Planning: this step will likely include the hiring your builder, taking measurements and drafting official schematics or blueprints for your new space.
  • HOA: if your community has one, your addition will need to be approved by the homeowners association
  • Acquiring Permits: this step varies depending on your area and the type of room you’re building. If you’re working with a reputable builder from the start of your project, they will manage obtaining and filing these permits.
  • Structural Build-out: When you’re ready to start your project, the first thing that will happen is the structural build-out. For rooms on the lower floor of the home, this means, at minimum, digging and pouring a new foundation. For floors added on top of other floors, structural supports will be added as needed. This step may also include re-locating or re-working in-ground elements like plumbing or gas pipes.
  • Framing the Walls: Next, you’ll see the shape of your room built out onto its foundational supports.
  • Adding the Roof: Protecting your new build from the elements is important from this stage of the project to the end.
  • Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing: Once the roof is up and exterior walls framed in, it’s time to run electrical, heating and cooling and plumbing. Basically, anything that needs to be hidden inside the walls will take place at this point in the process.
  • Insulation and Drywall: When electrical and plumbing are done (they will typically go through additional inspections), insulation will be added and drywall will go up.
  • Final Elements: Floors, trim, lighting, paint and other finishing touches are installed.

A good remodeling company will keep you updated on your project through every step. You should never feel “out of the loop” or like you’re unsure of what your builder is working on.

Should I hire a remodeling company for my room addition?

It is the rare homeowner who can tackle a room addition alone. Even the most knowledgeable or handy homeowners will still need to hire at least one contractor to help on their project, and DIYing a project of this size can take months (and sometimes even years) to complete. Most cities also require a licensed contractor to pull permits and stamped drawings from an architect.

A remodeling company with a solid reputation will help you design and manage your project from start the finish. They can give you solid timeline estimates, budget expectations, handle your permits and inspections and bring in vetted contractors so you never worry about your project.

An experienced home remodeling firm will be transparent about costs and communicate with you throughout the time of the build. They will also be understanding of how a build can affect an entire household and plan timelines so you can get back to enjoying your home as soon as possible.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend hiring a home remodeling company for your home addition.

Design and Build a New Room Addition in Columbus, Ohio

Dave Fox is an employee owned company who makes our clients are number one priority. We build high-quality room additions for our clients in Central Ohio and deliver the best value through exceptional craftsmanship, excellent materials and ethical business practices. Contact us today to learn more about our process for designing and building room additions and sign up for our newsletter here!

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We are a design-build remodeling firm unlike any other. As an employee-owned company based in Columbus Ohio, we are committed to serving our customers and employees by delivering high levels of quality and value through innovative design, unparalleled craftsmanship, and professional services. Learn more about our basement remodeling services and projects:
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